Claymont's union-represented bus drivers, custodians, teaching aides and cafeteria workers have been stationed around the clock at all of the district's school buildings since going on strike last Friday morning. (Photos by Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV)
Dennison, Ohio - Both sides in Claymont’s ongoing labor dispute are speaking out amid a strike by the district’s union-represented bus drivers, cafeteria workers, teachers aides and custodians.
Superintendent Scott Golec gave an update on the situation and answered some community questions in a video posted yesterday on Claymont’s website. In it, he thanked families for their cooperation and understanding, especially during drop-off and pickup times.
“Arrival and departure on Friday, in my opinion, was amazing. I was in charge of the Intermediate building. We had multiple kids coming out. We had a lot of cars coming through a very tight area. The community members were very patient. The teachers were awesome in helping us get the kids where we needed to get them,” he said.
Golec also assured the community that students are still being fed breakfast and lunch in the absence of their cafeteria workers.
“The variety, we’re still with the Uncrustables at this particular time, but there is a nutritious breakfast and lunch being provided each and every day,” he said. “For those who don’t like that, they are more than welcome to pack if they would like to.”
Golec in the video also addressed concerns about the substitute teachers aides that are coming into the buildings to replace the striking workers.
“Anybody that comes in our district is required to have an FBI/BCI background check. Most of these people are on substitute lists from Tuscarawas County, Stark County. They’re subject to everything a regular teacher or special education teacher would have to go through,” he said.
He also took aim at the union for allegedly walking away from the bargaining table during negotiations Friday morning. OAPSE Field Representative Lynda Bolin says that statement is absolutely false.
“The board gave us the last, best and final offer, then we continued to try to get clarification because they had made many changes. So we stayed there to try to get clarification, and when we got the last issue clarified, then we left, and I said, ‘I will be back but I have to go over to the Masonic Lodge and meet with our people,’” she says.
Bolin says they also take issue with Golec’s statement that they were given an opportunity to rescind their 10-day strike notice but chose instead to go on strike. She says they asked for an extension so the members could review the offer but the board wouldn’t allow it.
The union filed an unfair labor practices complaint against the district on March 21st for posting both sides’ proposals and positions on the district’s website. Golec has said those documents are all public records.
Meanwhile, Bolin says they’re grateful to the community for their continued support for the striking workers.
“The outpouring of support is just overwhelming, and we thank this community for coming out and supporting us, and we do want to go back to work,” she says.
There’s still no word yet on when this dispute might get resolved. Bolin says they’re ready and willing whenever the board wants to go back to the table.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV